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WindWings wind propulsion system undergoing tests

Posted on 21 Sep 2023 and read 713 times
WindWings wind propulsion system undergoing tests Cargill and BAR Technologies’ BAR Tech WindWings wind propulsion system for commercial shipping is currently undergoing testing on Mitsubishi Corporation’s Pyxis Ocean. Chartered by Cargill, it is the first vessel to be retrofitted with two WindWings — large wing sails up to 37.5m high that can be fitted to the deck of cargo ships to harness the power of wind.

The sails, which were produced by ‘industrialisation partner’ Yara Marine Technologies, are expected to generate average fuel savings of up to 30% on new-build vessels — and even higher if used in combination with alternative fuels. The installation of the wings took place at the COSCO shipyard in China; BAR Technologies is a Portsmouth-based company.

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill Ocean Transportation, said: “The maritime industry is on a journey to decarbonise; it is not an easy one, but it is an exciting one. At Cargill we have a responsibility to pioneer decarbonising solutions across all our supply chains to meet our customer’s needs and the needs of the planet. A technology like WindWings doesn’t come without risk, and as an industry leader — in partnership with ship owner Mitsubishi Corporation — we are not afraid to invest, take those risks and be transparent with our learnings to help our partners in maritime transition to a more sustainable future.”

The WindWings project, which is co-funded by the European Union as part of the CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative, can help the industry by offering a retrofit solution that is capable of decarbonising existing vessels, which is particularly relevant given that 55% of the world’s bulker fleets are up to nine years old.

The performance of the WindWings will be closely monitored over the coming months to further improve their design, operation, and performance, with the aim that the Pyxis Ocean will be used to inform the scale-up and adoption across not only Cargill’s fleet but the industry. BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies are already planning to build hundreds of wings over the next four years and BAR Technologies is also researching new builds with improved hydrodynamic hull forms.